Lost in Midlife column: To all the jeans I’ve loved before

Tracy Beckerman
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The Rolla Daily News

Columns share an author’s personal perspective.

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Since I work from home, I don’t generally get dressed up for the occasion. Most of the time I consider it a successful day if I change out of my bathrobe and put on actual clothes. Because of this, I don’t have a lot of fancy clothes and most of what I do have can easily be thrown in the wash.

This arrangement has always worked out fine until the day I bought a pair of “nice” jeans. These uber-high end jeans fit great but were clearly spun from gold denim, if the cost was any indication. Even though the label said they could be washed in the laundry, I was concerned that I might accidentally shrink them or spill bleach on them or wreak some other kind of irreparable havoc on them. Not that I’ve ever done that before. Okay, once. Or maybe six times. But definitely not more than 29.

Anyway, knowing I am laundry-challenged, I decided the safest thing to do would be to have the pants dry cleaned. I figured people who clean clothes for a living must be better at it than I am, or at the very least, their clean-to-ruin ratio would be better than mine. Plus, having used the same dry cleaners for a while, I was confident that they would take good care of my new, expensive jeans so they lasted a long, long time and I could justify having spent so much on a stupid pair of pants.

In my defense, these were no ordinary jeans. In my long career as a fickle jeans consumer, I have probably tried on and rejected more skinny jeans, flares, boyfriend jeans and straight legs than an Instagram influencer. Between the super low ones that leave me with the world’s worst muffin top, to the high-waisted mom jeans that make my butt look so big it should be designated the 51st state of the union, I have searched high and low for great fitting jeans. So, when I finally found a pair that actually flattered my lower half, I was willing to pay whatever the price to rein in the UFO (Unidentified Formidably-sized Object) that rides behind me.

Confident in my jean-saving strategy, I had my nice jeans dry cleaned and then brought them home and ripped them out of the plastic bag to try them back on. But as I went to pull them up, I realized something was amiss. I got them on my legs and over my knees, but once I got to my thighs, it was clear that the jeans were not going any further. I was pretty sure I had not gained 10 pounds overnight, although that has happened in the past, so I figured it had to be the jeans.

“I don’t understand,” I wailed to my husband as I stood in the bedroom with my jeans at half mast. “I had these dry cleaned. They’re not supposed to shrink when you get them dry cleaned.”

“They must have laundered them instead,” he said.

“I definitely told them dry clean, not laundry!” I protested.

“They must have gotten your instructions wrong,” he replied.

I grabbed the hanger and read the dry cleaning ticket. Then I peeled the pants off and stared at them accusingly. With a sudden realization I peered at the jeans label.

“Actually they got it half right,” I said, shaking my head. “They were definitely dry-cleaned … but they’re not my jeans.”

You can follow Tracy on Twitter @TracyBeckerman and become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LostinSuburbiaFanPage.